A Rare Occurence

This video, if you bother to watch it, is how I imagine all of Pete’s classes (spoilers avoided) end up like

We begin our story with what is the worst of feelings for student types like myself.  At the ungodly hour of HALF 9, I awoke to my phone ringing.  You all know the story, that random purchase or sign-up from a month ago has landed you in the books of one of those call-centers, and now they come for your soul (or more likely your money).  I answer with the determination to give this poor excuse for a human a piece of my mind (politely pretend to listen then think about the deal and say “Mmmmm maybe not, sorry”).  While on the other end of this call was a poor-excuse for a human, it was my good friend Peter “Bae” Lockhart.  This man had carpe diem in his heart and had decided to utilize the good weather along with Kora “Pot-killer” Przybyszewska and Simone “Salsa-star” Deca, for the higher purpose of climbing.  Pete knows, like many, that if one is stuck in the Mournes short a partner that calling me (the slut that I am) at short notice is perfectly acceptable when climbing is offered, and so I was given 30 mins to be ready for pick-up.

We looked to the quality climbing at Bearnagh Tors, and quickly headed upwards, while marveling at some (possibly spanish???) people who, at the Bearnagh carpark, asked us how to get to Tollymore forest park.  During the walk in, I find that a social recluse such as myself can gleam top quality gossip from those who would normally tell me little of intimate moments.  This particular walk in I found out that Simone, Kora and Pete had all begun a Salsa dancing class, and were greatly enjoying it.  I also found that Simone and Pete were a prized commodity in dancing, that is, male dancing partners.  Now as their popularity had soared, we saw the true nature of these  people.  Simone, when asked, could not remember any of his partner’s names (for shame, those women are people too).  Pete however could list various names, and could tell us defining features of each (I think his favorite was Paula, with the “jiggly chest”).  However, as I had imagined, the average age of women at this class was around 28-34, a bit too experienced and intimidating for a young buck such as our Pete.

It was around this time that I, overcome with raw psych to get to the crag, twisted my ankle badly.  Being only just at the split in the path between the regular Bearnagh path and the Hare’s Gap path, it seemed I may have had to turn back, though it seemed a shame.  Being in top-quality company as I was, the group saw fit to accommodate me instead of putting me out of misery, and we made a jaunt over to Spellack.  Once there we established a base of operations and set out some plans.  Kora looked to consolidate some S and HS climbs, Simone happy to second, while I aimed to lead one of the E1s and an HVS, as Pete was super psyched to second some harder stuff to get his outdoor route reading up to scratch for his Croatia trip.  Though slightly injured, I reasoned that the ankle was only painful in one direction, and not one common in climbing moves.  I maneuvered myself to the wide crack at the bottom and used “slug” technique to reach some good gear below the meat of the route.  The crux consisted of a couple of easy moves, but poor footholds, panic, placement of a green cam (held in place by dirt) and forced upwards travel to a good red cam.  Head still shaken from my last trip to Spellack (don’t ask) this was an achievement for my psych, and a bit of delicate climbing on what seemed poor rock (though it was probably sound) I had reached the top and constructed a good anchor.  Pete, another master of the “slug” style, cruised up to the crux, though found some difficulty with foot holds as myself.  I added encouragement with stock phrases such as “trust you feet, the friction is good” and “dude, you got this” which seemed to have an effect of a sort, and the strong sir made it to the top with grace and style.

Looking across we also saw that Kora and Simone had been met with success and we all regrouped at the bottom for general talk and food.  Now, for those in the know, I have never been very organised though it has gotten better over the years.  Today I had forgotten food and water again.  Now this hardship is not unusual for me, little known to many, most of my days in the hills are conducted with little to no food, and I haven died yet.  But due to a surprisingly long and closely dated climbing trips, I had left my bag as is between trips, and this time it payed off, as I found half a fruit loaf (at the bottom of the bag for at least 4 days) and a packet of fruit pastels, as well as water.  The gods looked out for me today.  While inspecting the loaf for mold (none to be found), I tucked in and talked of setting up Pete an internet dating profile.  We all decided this was a valid option, Kora and Simone because as a slightly nerdy person Pete would find other similar specimens online, Me because it left lots of options to hide his numerous flaws from potential dates.

After all this in-depth discussion, we realigned our goals for routes, Pete and I on the HVS, and Kora and Simone again at a HS.  Struggling through the start, I finally reached the hand crack and placed bomber cams and shuffled myself closer to ascension while placing a good blue hex.  I landed at the same top out as before, this time more confident of the rock quality, and used the same anchor, Pete then followed with little trouble.  We then set up a top rope for the E2, to get Pete his route reading on.  The man found the traverse to be fun and delicate, but no problem.  After our success we sat and watched Kora, while Pete found out spellack has 3G, and so played some Hearthstone.  I quickly soloed up an easy thing to retrieve the anchor for the top rope, as Simone topped the final climb of the day.  We then moved towards the car.

Now on the way down, I began to inform the group of a previous idea that Prebs and I had (extremely off-set cams TM), this then led me to inspiration.  At the same time, there was discussion by Pete of the formation of the Mourn Defense Force, or MDF, to stop foreigners (the English) coming over here and bolting the Mournes.  We decided this was to be the brand name for my new gear line coming out this fall.  Known as “Orbs” (TM), these pieces of gear were to be rocks picked up from the ground, drilled through and threaded with rated cord.  The idea is the piece is off-set sized in all dimensions, and that nature has created one piece that fits every gear placement in existence.  This also lead to the idea of MDF (TM) creating custom gear, mainly from bits of crap lying around my garage, to fit specific placements for super hard projects.

The final event of the day was when we found a hat tied to the gates to the carpark.  Pete argued that a child was crying somewhere over their tragic loss, and would return.  I argued that in this modern wasteful age, of throwaway gadgets and possessions, the hat would not be missed and we should help nature through a “leave no trace” ethic.  I also really wanted that hat, I mean come on, it had rabbit ears.  Pete threatened to not let me in the car though, you fuck.  And so we headed home, much success had, though no new clothes attained.

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